Coaching legend Dusan Ivkovic has stepped down from his post at Olympiacos after leading them to the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague title in sensational style in Istanbul last month. They went on to claim the Greek title a few weeks later and are proudly sitting on top of the tree in European basketball. Ivkovic, 68, will continue in his role as coach of the Serbian national team.
Olympiacos club management had offered him a two-year extension but Ivkovic decided that it was too stressful to remain on the sidelines with the Reds. He became the oldest coach to lift the European crown when his young side clinched the title. In a statement released by the club, they stated that should Coach Ivkovic decide to return to coach a club, it would be with Olympiacos.
The Euroleague title was Ivkovic's second, having led the Reds to Euroleague glory in Rome in 1997. He leaves the club a proud man, being the only head coach to have won all four major European titles. During a long and successful career, Ivkovic has worked for several clubs in Serbia, Greece and Russia over 29 seasons dating back to 1978. He has appeared in the Euroleague Final Four on seven occasions with three different teams. He also won the 1993 Saporta Cup with PAOK Thessaloniki, the 2000 Saporta Cup with AEK Athens, the 1979 Korac Cup with Partizan Belgrade and the 2006 ULEB Cup with Dynamo Moscow. Ivkovic has enjoyed success on three occasions in each of the Greek and Russian Leagues, the Yugoslav championship once and a total of six cups between the three countries. At international level, Ivkovic won the 1990 World Championships and three EuroBasket gold medals with the Yugoslavia. Much revered among basketball coaches, Ivkovic was honoured in 2008 as one of 50 legends of the first 50 years of European club basketball.
He issued a statement regarding his departure and it is clear that he was finding it increasingly difficult to divide his time between Olympiacos and the Serbian national team. His statement reads, “In today's scheduled meeting with president Panagiotis Angelopoulos and vice president George Skindilia, we discussed and analyzed the conditions that have shaped Greek basketball in these times of economic crisis and my stress over the last three years with my involvement with the Serbian national team. This has led to my decision not to stay with the team. In leaving I would like to wholeheartedly thank the presidents, trustees, partners, my players and all the fans of Olympiacos.”
He leaves a young and progressive side intent on putting up a stern defence of their title next season. You can follow your team’s progress throughout the Euroleague on our regular blog and reserve your tickets for the Final Four with Ticket2Final.com.